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Foothill tennis roundup: Cents close out Canyon

Saugus pulls off big win

Posted: September 29, 2016 10:32 p.m.
Updated: September 29, 2016 10:32 p.m.

Coach Ken Jeffris’ vantage point was the same as the last time his team hosted Canyon High: leaning against a chain-link fence covered in a wind screen facing Saugus High’s tennis courts.

There was just a lot less on the line in Thursday’s final set, as the Centurions had pulled well in front, dispensing any chance of a repeat of last season’s nail-biter.

“The match doesn’t depend on this,” Jeffris said with a chuckle as Saugus freshmen Abby Bolks and Emily Belcher battled Amanda Yeam and Brianna Thomas.

The Centurions duo won in a tiebreaker, bringing the final score to 13-5 and setting up a crucial Foothill League match at Hart next Thursday.

“It’s really nerve-racking,” Bolks said of the tiebreaker. “You have to be able to calm down, especially on your second serves.”

The match was well in hand by that point, in part, because Canyon had to forfeit three sets due to a shortage of players.

Saugus (4-7 overall, 3-3 in Foothill) took full advantage winning six of nine singles sets and seven of nine in doubles.

Bolks and Belcher won all three of their sets, 6-0, 6-0 and 7-6 (7-4 tiebreaker).

Jeffris called up freshmen Alyssa Alvidrez and Amanda Kubasak to play doubles in their first varsity match, hoping to evaluate whether they could help against Hart next Thursday in a match that could decide third place.

They won two sets, and Jeffris liked what he saw.

“They play to win,” he said. “They don’t play on their heels. They play forward.”

Allison Hall, playing with a different partner each time, won three doubles sets for Saugus, which lost 9-9 (72-66 in games) to Canyon in a home match at the end of last season. Thursday, Adrienne Kashay won three singles sets for Canyon. The Cowboys, now 1-9 overall and 0-6 in league, are looking to play each opponent better the second time through league than the first.

Coach Rich Bristow thinks Thursday was a step in that direction.

“We played way better today,” he said. “We played very flat and looked unprepared the first time (a 15-3 Saugus win on Sept. 14). And today, even in the matches that appeared to not be close, I saw our girls play with more heart.

“That was encouraging.”

Jeffris saw positive signs from his squad, too, but he knows a lot rides on next Thursday’s match.

“Our match against Hart is going to determine our season,” Jeffris said. “Hart beat us last time in a very close match. My girls want to come out and give Hart their best match and maybe make a run into the playoffs.”

The Indians and Centurions are tied in league with 3-3 records.

West Ranch 17, Golden Valley 1

Una Stanisavljevic won three sets for the Wildcats (12-2, 6-0). The pairing of Quinterra Walter-Eze and Cori Raffish also won three sets.

Golden Valley is 3-7 overall and 1-5 in league.

Valencia 14, Hart 4

The Vikings improved to 10-6 overall and 5-1 in league, sweeping the Indians in doubles.

Hart is 4-6 overall and 3-3 in league.



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